Value Plays: Week 6

 A look at players who could have unexpected big fantasy weeks.

This article will take a weekly look at players who could provide value in a given week. The basis for this value will be the difference between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly rankings. Both of these are from the Insider content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, matchup of the week, or short-term situation. Now, let's take a look at this week's value players.


Carson Palmer

  • Top 200 ranking: 9
  • Weekly ranking: 3
  • Difference: +6

The game this week against a beat up Steelers secondary poses a great matchup for Palmer and the Cardinals air attack. Philip Rivers tore up Pittsburgh on Monday night and we expect the explosive Arizona passing game to cause even more damage. This is one of the better matchups remaining for Palmer.

Matt Ryan

  • Top 200 ranking: 13
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +8

The division tilt at New Orleans on Thursday night could be high scoring. Look what Sam Bradford did to the sieve of the Saints defense last Sunday afternoon. The Saints were the “get well” medicine for the Philadelphia pass offense. With Ryan and company in a groove, this could be a very high scoring affair. Keep tabs on the health of Julio Jones' balky hamstring. It might be the only thing able to contain Ryan's fantasy numbers this week.

Running Back

Matt Forte

  • Top 200 ranking: 7
  • Weekly ranking: 3
  • Difference: +4

With a limited Alshon Jeffery, the Bears should lean on the All Pro back in the game at Detroit. The Lions have been run on the last few weeks, especially last Sunday versus Arizona. Two Cardinals ball carriers had strong fantasy games. In a game which Chicago could carry a lead for most of the game, Forte could see a season high in touches. His talent as a receiver limits the opportunity for poor fantasy production each week.

T.J. Yeldon

  • Top 200 ranking: 22
  • Weekly ranking: 11
  • Difference: +11

The Jaguars host the Texans in a game Jacksonville could run often, pounding Yeldon. Frank Gore was able to run on Houston last week and we expect the powerful rookie to be able to do the same. This is a very winnable game for the upstart Jaguars. With Allen Hurns gimpy, the running game could be leaned upon even more.

Eddie Lacy

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 10
  • Difference: +6

The Packers host the Chargers in a game Green Bay should control from the outset. After the way the San Diego defense yielded big numbers to Bell on Monday night, we should have high hopes for Lacy. This is a great spot for the bruising back to see 25 carries and possibly a short touchdown or two. With the chance for a shootout, Lacy becomes even more desirable as that would unveil more touchdown opportunities.

Wide Receiver

Steve Smith

  • Top 200 ranking: 17
  • Weekly ranking: 11
  • Difference: +6

The Ravens will welcome Smith back into the lineup against the 49ers, even if he is a bit limited. The San Francisco secondary has given up a lot of points to opposing receivers so we are hopeful Smith can do the same. There is the risk of Smith taking a hit to his back and leaving the game. He is a tough player and will want to play in a huge game for Baltimore.

Allen Robinson

  • Top 200 ranking: 22
  • Weekly ranking: 12
  • Difference: +10

The Jaguars are expected to have their way with the Texans defense. Houston looks apathetic on both sides of the ball. The quarterback situation is a mess and the defensive secondary allowed the 40-year old Matt Hasselbeck look like the 30-year old version last Thursday. Robinson could have a big game. One concern is the health of quarterback Blake Bortles. While not stellar, Bortles is miles better than backup Chad Henne.

Brandin Cooks

  • Top 200 ranking: 34
  • Weekly ranking: 17
  • Difference: +17

Cooks should see plenty of pass targets on Thursday evening as Marques Colston will miss the contest with a bum shoulder. This could be a high scoring affair, one in which Cooks and Willie Snead IV is able to have a big game. New Orleans should throw often in order to keep pace with Atlanta's prolific offense.

Tight End

Charles Clay

  • Top 200 ranking: 11
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +4

The Bills have a big game against the Bengals this week and will need the athletic tight end to play well. There is a chance that Sammy Watkins returns in a limited fashion and LeSean McCoy is still out of action. It appears as though the Buffalo coaching staff is still learning how to best use Clay's skillset. Monitor the health of quarterback Tyrod Taylor. If he misses the game, it would impact Clay to have E.J. Manuel throwing passes … or skipping them.

Antonio Gates

  • Top 200 ranking: 10
  • Weekly ranking: 6
  • Difference: +4

Gates showed that he was back last Monday night. My, he played great. There is no doubt about Gates' role in the San Diego offense. He could have another big game in garbage time against the Packers this week.

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